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Dalai, Obama meeting blasted

Updated: 2015-02-06 11:28
By Reuters and China Daily (China Daily USA)

US President Barack Obama acknowledged the Dalai Lama but did not meet directly with him at a religious event on Thursday in Washington.

Beijing has warned the US against any exchange with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

Obama greeted the Buddhist monk with a bow-like gesture. Both figures were at an annual prayer breakfast in Washington. The Dalai Lama was in the audience at a table in the front row across from the president along with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

After the breakfast event was announced, Beijing said it opposed any country meeting with him under any circumstances.

Before the event, an English-language commentary issued by the Xinhua news agency warned against any encounter.

"Chumming with a secessionist is playing with fire," it said. Any meeting would "dampen the hard-won positive momentum in China-US relations".

An editorial on China Daily on Feb 2 said in whatever form and on whatever occasion, should a president of the United States meet with the Dalai Lama, it will unquestionably step on China's toes and therefore cast a shadow over US-China relations. This should be clear to all US politicians.

So Washington seems to play a political gimmick by inviting the Dalai Lama to the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, at which US President Barack Obama is due to deliver remarks. We have no idea whether it was the US president's idea to invite him, the editorial said.

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